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Category: Change Maker Stories

Grace Ihejiamaizu

grace-ihejiamaizu1Grace Ihejiamaizu is an entrepreneur and Global Changemaker . In 2010, she founded an after-school youth project, Raising Young Productive Entrepreneurs (RYPE) Initiative. Through RYPE, more than 350 young people have been trained, engaged and empowered.Grace’s outstanding leadership skills has earned her some national and international recognition including being named one of Google’s 12 Brightest Young Minds in 2011, and the recognition by US State Department as ‘International Exchange Alumni Member of the Month for September 2012’. She was also selected as one of the top 60 Global ChangeMakers in 2012.

At only 22 years, she has just started a Social Enterprise company, iKapture Networks, which provides educational services and products to secondary and post-secondary students in Nigeria.She is also the founder and content creator of the fast-growing online platform, opportunitydesk.org, with more than 100,000 visitors monthly from over 160 countries across the world.

Source: www.yvafrica.com

NoViolet Bulawayo

novioletBulawayo was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She and attended Njube High School and later Mzilikazi High School for her A levels. She later completed her college education in USA , obtaining earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Texas A&M University-Commerce and Southern Methodist University. In 2010, she completed a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Cornell University, her amazing work was recognized with a Truman Capote Fellowship. In 2011 she won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story “Hitting Budapest” it’s a film about a gang of street children in a Zimbabwean shantytown. Her novel entitled We Need New Names was scheduled to be released 21 May 2013, and she has also begun working on a memoir project. –

Source: www.yvafrica.com

Evans Wadongo

evanswadongoEvans Wadongo (born 11 March 1986) is a Kenyan engineer, the Executive Director and Chairman of SDFA-Kenya, and one of CNN’s top ten heroes of 2010. He is a graduate in Electronic and Computer Engineering from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya. Evans was born in the Western part of Kenya, where he grew up as the youngest of five brothers. Both his father and mother are teachers. He attended Bisunu Primary School, a rural primary school, where he walked over 10 km daily to reach the school. His home and school had no electricity, but he braved the odds to join Kakamega High School, where he managed to graduate with top marks, and was listed among the top 100 best students in Kenya. He later joined Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and graduated in July 2009 with a BSc in Electronics and Computer Engineering.

While at the university, Evans was an active member of the Rotaract Club (part of Rotary International), where he participated in various community initiatives, including the donation of clothes to children homes and street clean-up campaigns. He interned at Kenyatta National Hospital in 2006, at Metsec Ltd in 2007, and at UUNET Kenya (now MTN Business Kenya) in 2008.
Evans designed a solar lamp which he calls ‘MwangaBora (Swahili for “Good Light”) in 2004 as a way to address poor education, climate change, health and poverty in rural areas in Kenya. Evans named the entire project ‘Use Solar, Save Lives’ as he aimed to use solar technology as a way to save lives in the poor communities he grew up in.

He joined Sustainable Development For All-Kenya (SDFA-Kenya), a non-profit in 2006. SDFA-Kenya was officially registered by the NGO Coordination Board in June 2007 and its primary focus is environment, education and economic empowerment. Evans was the founding chairman. SDFA-Kenya adopted the ‘Use Solar, Save Lives’ programme as its main focus program as it combines the three aspects of education, environment, and economic empowerment. SDFA-Kenya is now working in all regions in Kenya. In addition, it is now working in Malawi in partnership with Jacaranda Foundation. To date, SDFA-Kenya under the leadership of Mr. Wadongo has influenced directly over 100,000 people and, indirectly, millions of others.

Apart from being the Chairman of the organisation, Evans doubled up as a Project Manager from 2006 to 2008. From 2008 to July 2010, Evans was the chairman and Programs Director. He is currently the Executive Director and Chairman of SDFA-Kenya.

In July 2011, in response to the increased publicity from the international community, Evans launched Just One Lamp, a globally-focused campaign to raise funding and awareness for MwangaBora lamps. Evans hopes to expand his effort beyond Kenya and bring his model to other developing nations.

Source: Wikipedia.org

Joannie Bewa

bewa1Joannie Bewa is currently working as a general practitioner in a community health center in her country BENIN. She holds many leadership positions in BENIN and is well known at global level. She is the co-founder and the Executive director of Young Beninese Leaders Association (YBLA), created after the President OBAMA Young African leaders forum.

In 2010, she also initiated “Red-Ribbon Campaign”, which was a campaign to educate the population about HIV AIDS issues. In the first six months following the campaign, she led a training program on sexual and reproductive health, reaching to various Beninese communities, including sex workers. 10 000 Youth were reached at national level.

In 2012, she designed a project called “Women’s Empowerment Campaign” which was funded through the First Lady Michelle Obama program for Young African Women Leaders. The “Women’s Empowerment Campaign” was implemented through capacities building and mentoring sessions for 2,500 girls and 400 young women entrepreneurs. Her activism was recognized by US Government who selected her in 2012 for the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program under the President OBAMA Young African Leader program. Recently, she is appointed as the first female president of the US Ambassador’s Youth Council in Benin.

Source: www.yvafrica.com

Ludwick Marishane

After a few months of research on the Internet, South African University of Cape Town student, Ludwick Marishane has won global recognition for an invention that takes the water out of bathing.

Marishane invented a product called DryBath, a clear gel applied to skin that does the work of water and soap.

The invention, which won him the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award, has wide applications in Africa and other parts of the developing world where basic hygiene is lacking and hundreds of millions of people do not have regular access to water.

DryBath has broad spectrum of germicidal activity (99.9% germ-killing) but differs from the anti-bacterial hand washes by eliminating the heavy alcohol smell. It is non-toxic, hypo-allergenic product that creates an odourless and biodegradable cleansing film with moisturisers.

The product is now manufactured commercially with clients including major global airlines for use on long-haul flights and governments for its soldiers in the field. Marishane also sees it helping conserve water in the poorest parts of the world. “DryBath will go a long way in helping communities”.

Ludwick Marishane is a 4th-year commerce student from South Africa. He is currently rated as the best student entrepreneur in the world (Global Champion of the Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards 2011). He is the founder & chief ofHeadboy Industries Inc, and is his country’s youngest patent-holder after having invented DryBath.

Google has named him as one of the 12 brightest young minds in the world, and he is studying a BBusSc-Finance & Accounting degree at the prestigious University of Cape Town. Ludwick grew up in rural Limpopo.

Source: thewatchers.adorraeli.com

Esther Mbabazi

esther mbabazi1

Esther Mbabazi was eight years old when her father was killed in a crash as the plane he was flying in overshot the runway landing in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

So when, a few years later she announced her intention to train as a pilot, the plan was not well received by some of her family. But at the age of 24, Mbabazi has made history as the first female Rwandan pilot – although as a woman she says she doesn’t make flight announcements because it scares the passengers.

“Some people questioned why I wanted to do it, they thought I wanted to be a pilot to find out what happened to my dad, but that didn’t have anything to do with it,” Mbabazi said.

“Being a pilot really was my childhood dream, I don’t think anything was going to stop it. It started when I travelled with my family and we would get the free things for kids, like the backpacks. I really liked that and I just liked to travel. The whole intrigue of this big bird in the sky, I was amazed. That and the free backpacks planted the seed.”

Mbabazi, who is fluent in five languages, trained at the Soroti flight school in Uganda before being sponsored to continue her training in Florida by national carrier Rwandair. She now flies the company’s CRJ-900 regional jets across Africa.

Kelvin Doe

kelvin doeKelvin Doe (16) is a self-taught engineer from Sierra Leone, West Africa. Out of metal and wire scraps he made a battery to “power lights in people’s houses,” an FM radio transmitter to disseminate news and a generator to power the device. Doe became the youngest invitee to the Visiting Practitioner’s Program for international development.

Sixteen-year-old Kelvin Doe has an endless desire to tinker. When he was just 11, he started collecting discarded metal and electronic scraps, eventually gathering enough bits to put together mini generators. Last year, he cobbled together an amp, a mixer, and enough equipment to launch a one-young-man radio station. He broadcasts to the residents of the Dworzark Farm neighborhood of Freetown, Sierra Leone’s ramshackle capital, where he’s also known as DJ Focus. “I am curious,” Doe says simply of his wunderkind accomplishments. That curiosity well explains why his first trip out of his native Sierra Leone was to MIT, where he worked on engineering projects last summer. He’s spoken at TEDxTeen and wowed people in a short documentary about him and his inventions on YouTube. But Doe’s definition of success is unselfish: His current project focuses on building a windmill to provide power for some of his Freetown neighbors, and he hopes to become a scientist to help improve life throughout Sierra Leone. “I love my country,” he says. “I love my people.”

Urine-powered generator unveiled at international exhibition

Four African girls have created a generator that produces electricity for six hours using a single liter of urine as fuel.

The generator was unveiled at last week’s Maker Faire in Lagos, Nigeria, by the four teens Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, and Faleke Oluwatoyin, all age 14, and Bello Eniola, 15.

So how exactly does the urine-powered generator work?

  • Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen.
  • The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, which then gets pushed into the gas cylinder.
  • The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas.
  • This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator.

And as for delivering the fuel itself? Well, we’ll leave that up to the consumer.

The Maker Faire is a popular event across the African continent, drawing thousands of participants who travel to Lagos to show their inventions and other practical creations.

As the Next Web describes it, the Maker Faire is intended to highlight creations “that solve immediate challenges and problems, and then works to support and propagate them. Put another way, this isn’t just a bunch of rich people talking about how their apps are going to change the world.”